Headteacher hails 'phenomenal' engagement during Covid pandemic

Wisbech St Mary headteacher

Jaynie Lynch (second from left), headteacher at Wisbech St Mary Church of England Academy, has hailed the engagement shown by parents and pupils while learning from home during the Covid-19 pandemic. - Credit: Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust

A headteacher has hailed the “phenomenal” engagement with home schooling since the Covid-19 pandemic began and hopes lessons learnt will bode well for the future. 

Jaynie Lynch, of Wisbech St Mary Church of England Academy, praised the level of support given to pupils by parents and staff since last March in a bid to enhance the learning experience. 

“The parents have been amazing; I cannot praise them enough for how supportive and understanding they have been,” Ms Lynch said. 

“We keep in regular contact with our families and let them know we are always available on the phone or via email if they have any questions.   

“This has been at the heart of what we have been doing, making sure the parents know we are there for them at all times.” 

The school, which has around 200 pupils aged two to 11-years-old, has been encouraging home learning since the first national lockdown with around 20 per cent of all pupils deemed vulnerable or children of key workers now attending. 

Children can tune into a minimum of three hours of live teaching a day, as well as pre-recorded lessons and additional tasks and activities, such as screen-free tasks. 

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“We have used different interactive programs to really engage the children and have used activities away from the screen to enhance their learning experience,” Ms Lynch said. 

“It has been hard work for the teaching team but being able to provide the children with a great education during these difficult times is worth the extra effort.” 

Wisbech St Mary CoE Academy, part of the Diocese of Ely Multi-Academy Trust that has 39 schools across Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, has also dealt with challenges along the way, such as laptop provision for parents and pupils

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is hoping to allow schools in England to fully reopen by March 8 at the earliest, but whatever the situation, staff are confident they can continue to meet pupils’ needs. 

“We have been able to provide a top-quality education and meet the needs of our pupils despite the circumstances and I would like to thank all our families for their continued support,” Ms Lynch added. 

“Although I do not expect a rise in parents opting for home-schooling when we reopen, I think many parents will have learnt a lot and have more confidence in helping their children with their schoolwork in the future.”